Dr. Rainer Gruessner is an extremely dedicated and caring medical professional who is currently a Professor of Surgery and Immunology at the University of Arizona. He is a renowned and successful surgeon, doctor, and scientist who has devoted himself to helping patients with life-threatening disorders of the pancreas, bowel and liver. He is the pioneer of many groundbreaking developments in the field of transplantation surgery and immunology. He was involved in the first split pancreas transplant in 1988; he performed the first preemptive living donor liver transplant for oxalosis in a baby in 1998; the first laparoscopic living donor distal pancreatectomy and nephrectomy in 2000; and the first robot assisted total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplant in 2012. Rainer Gruessner obtained both his medical degree and his medical thesis, “summa cum laude,” from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. He did his residency in surgery at the same school before moving to the United States to complete a 2-year fellowship in transplant surgery at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Rainer Gruessner was appointed as the Chairman of the University of Arizona’s Department of Surgery in 2007. During his tenure, he was responsible for the complete overhaul and rebuilding of the school’s surgical department which included the addition of over 70 faculty members, six divisional chiefs and the implementation of many new clinical and robotic surgery programs. Dr. Rainer Gruessner introduced minimally invasive surgical procedures, such as robotics, throughout all the Department of Surgery’s subspecialties. The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery then became one of the largest robotic surgery programs in the nation.